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Feb 20, 2007 at 02:04 PM

canpalnet gathers Canadians of all backgrounds who support the human, democratic, and national rights of the Palestinian people.

canpalnet aims to change the policies and actions of the Canadian government so that these come to support the rights of the Palestinian people.

canpalnet guides itself by United Nations resolutions affirming Palestinians' right of return and calling for an end to the Israeli occupation. CANPALNET similarly guides itself by accumulated international law, including the Fourth Geneva Convention, which upholds the equal worth and dignity of persons regardless of their ethnic or religious identity, and which affirms democratic rights and opposes apartheid structures.

canpalnet works for the national co-ordination of solidarity work.





Boy throwing stone at tankWhen the people of South Africa fought against apartheid, Canadians of every background, every ethnicity and colour, gave their support. We saw it as every Canadian's responsibility to change our government's policy, until Ottawa too opposed the injustice of racism in South Africa.

When East Timorese fought for their national independence from the Indonesian occupation, Canadians didn't stand aside because they weren't of Timorese or Indonesian background. We understood it as a matter of justice and the responsibility of us all to change our government's support for the Indonesian government.

Now the Palestinian people are struggling, in the most difficult of circumstances, facing intensified Israeli military repression, still expanding settlements, more land seizures, collective punishment, and the even further division of the West Bank and Gaza into segregated apartheid structures.

GunnersIn this new crisis situation it is necessary for Canadians from all backgrounds to help protect the lives, homes, and land of Palestinians. We again must take up our responsibility to ensure the policy of the Canadian government supports the human, democratic and national rights of the Palestinian people.

The Canadian government was friendly toward the South African apartheid regime for a long time; the Canadian government was supportive of the Indonesian occupation of East Timor also for a long time. Today it pretends there can be an "even-handedness" between the stone thrower and the tank.

The Canadian government policy toward the Palestinians must be changed, as it eventually was changed toward apartheid and Indonesian occupation of East Timor. International law and major United Nations resolutions provide clear guidelines for solidarity work.

Girl behind barsThese laws and resolutions are an alternative to the process called "peace" that since Oslo has reduced laws and human rights to a matter of haggling between parties of grossly unequal power. At the end of the Second World War, on the basis of the horrors imposed by the invading, conquering and occupying army of Germany, international laws were drafted and approved by almost all nations, including Canada and Israel.

But our government has not called for Israel to abide by the Fourth Geneva Convention when it comes to Israel's occupation of the West Bank, Gaza and East Jerusalem. We must bring our government to do so.

The United Nations Security Council and General Assembly have called on Israel to end its occupation of the territories it invaded in June 1967 (the West Bank, Gaza and East Jerusalem). We must press our government to work for the enforcement of this resolution.

Palestinians in the hundreds of thousands have been dispossessed of their homes and land and made stateless refugees by Israeli military occupation. The United Nations passed a resolution, as early as 1948, consistently reaffirmed that Palestinian refugees have the right to return to their homes and lands. The Canadian government has been acting in open defiance of this elementary justice.

Naji al-Ali cartoonArmed power can dispossess; it can humiliate those living under occupation. But the anger this sows cannot be extinguished by more dispossession and more humiliation and more killing. Peace is impossible without justice.

To contact us for more information, write:
info@canpalnet.ca

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Facts and Figures about the Current Darkness in the Gaza Strip

January 23rd 2008

Report from the Palestinian Hydrology Group
  1. Gaza Strip today is facing a very harsh siege which is expected to have severely negative humanitarian impact.
  2. The distribution of drinking water and the collection and treatment of wastewater completely rely on electricity and fuel in Gaza Strip.
  3. For several months now Israel has imposed a cruel siege on the Strip preventing people and goods from free movement. This has immobilized the importing of spare parts, pumps, pipes and other necessary accessories for the water and sanitation providing facilities.
  4. According to different sources the water and sanitation services are expected to be completely paralyzed within a matter of hours due to the lack of fuel reserves.
  5. About 133 water wells are being used for domestic purposes in addition to 33 sewage pump stations and three treatment plants; 10 of these groundwater wells function using fuel while the rest rely on electricity. Diesel powered generators are normally used as backup for the whole system but only for a limited time.
    The Coastal Municipalities Water Utility needs at least 100,000 liters of diesel per month to operate the water system. An additional 100,000 liters of diesel per month are needed for the sewage system to prevent wastewater from flooding the streets and residential areas.
  6. Reducing electricity and fuel supplies are potential causes to trigger an environmental crisis especially in the wastewater pump stations and treatment plants. If wastewater is not treated it will have to be pumped directly to the sea. This will for sure have a direct and negative impact on the groundwater aquifer and marine life.
    During winter time sewage pumps need to operate about 24 hours per day due to rainfall. Therefore, interruptions in fuel and electricity supply would be particularly significant.
  7. The sewage treatment plant in Beit Lahiya is also vulnerable to interruptions in electricity supplies. The treatment lagoons must be pumped regularly, or else the 10,000 people living in the area are in danger.  Six months ago, one of the lagoons over flooded and caused the death of five persons. Proper maintenance could have prevented the disaster.
  8. The water supply in Gaza City, with a total of 600,000 residents, in addition to a major part of the central portion of the Strip is expected to be completely cut-off as a result of ceasing the pumping from the municipal groundwater wells. The City also faces the threat of overflowing wastewater since the pumps (especially Al Samer and Aqoola stations) are expected to stop operating within the next 24 hours.
  9. If the current situation should persist the solid wastes generated in the Strip will accumulate in piles on the streets endangering the health of the locals.

The WaSH Monitoring Program calls on the International Community to push Israel to immediately cease all military operations, reopen the borders to allow the movement of people and goods and provide fuel supply and humanitarian aid to the residents of Gaza.

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